5 Things To Do When Your Heart Physically Hurts


You’ve felt this too, haven’t you? You’ve felt this pain. This is the pain of holding too much inside. This is the pain that buries itself underneath the very fabric of your heart and snaps all the threads that hold it together. This is the pain of loss, of hopelessness, of utter despair. And you’re left with nothing but a deep, hollow anguish you can’t begin to describe. You can’t move. You can’t think. You can’t feel anything but this hurt. You thought heartbreak was a metaphor until you could physically feel your heart breaking and couldn’t find the air to breathe anymore, nor did you want to.

I understand. Oh, how I understand. But let me tell you, it may feel like a bullet just collided with your heart and you’re watching your world come crashing down around you, but you’re not dying. You’re still alive. And though you might rather not be alive if this is what alive means, keep holding on. You aren’t alone in the misery you feel. I’ve felt it too and so have so many others. So let me help you climb out of this pit of pain. The next time it comes…

1. Breathe.

Take a long, deep breath in and hold it for a few seconds. Then slowly and steadily exhale. Let not only the air release from your lungs, but also the emotions eating away at your weary heart. Push them out of you like you’re desperately trying to rid yourself of a toxin. Inhale. Exhale. Breathe.

2. Feel.

Feel it all. Do not rob yourself of feeling anything. Feel it and react. Scream, wail, sob. Allow yourself to process the all that you have internalized. You deserve to feel, don’t let yourself think otherwise. Cry until your eyes can produce no more tears. Scream until your voice just stops. Then, and only then, do you stop.

3. Steady yourself.

Don’t let the ache cause you to stumble. Once you’ve felt it, you don’t need to revisit it. It’s done. It’s over with. You’ve exhaled it, and you’ve felt it as it left. Don’t give it permission to stay. You may feel crippled, but you are so much stronger than you think. Stronger than you feel. Pick yourself up off the ground. Wipe your tears. Calm your soul. And raise your chin, beautiful.

4. Listen.

To anything but the voices of your hurt. Listen to music, to a friend’s encouraging words, to the melody of a bird out your window. Drown yourself in the sounds of a world that keeps faithfully spinning when everything seems to be at a paralyzing standstill.

5. Keep your head up.

I know it hurts like hell. It’s going to hurt like hell for a while. But it won’t hurt forever, I can promise you that. One day you’re going to realize the pain packed its bags and left. Your heart won’t feel like it’s being dragged down by a millstone anymore. Your smile will be genuine, your laugh loud, and your tears joyful. But until then, keep your head up. And remember: you’re worth far more than your suffering. You’re worth every single breath you take, no matter how rickety and painful it is. So breathe, darling. Breathe.